Book Reviews

Book Reviews

Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges

"For a democracy to thrive in a pluralistic society, the pathways to opportunities should be open to all equally, with level playing fields and mitigations against stereotyping and exclusion. This should especially be so in institutions of higher education, which can be the differences not only for individual lives but for societies as a whole. There are benefits to including creative and divergent thinkers and doers. One step in this direction is to better understand social relationships in society, including problem areas that may need attention. Thomas Moeller’s Intersectionality: Concepts, Perspectives and Challenges (2020) is comprised of three works surround the issue of “intersectionality,” as a way of understanding people’s complex identities and embodied experiences and their social statuses (or its lack) in contemporary societies.  As a term, “intersectionality” is a highly contested one. Intersectionality, as a framework, refers to “how aspects of one’s social and political identities (e.g., gender, race, class, sexuality, disability, etc.) might combine to create unique modes of discrimination” (“Intersectionality,” Feb. 15, 2020); the insights from this approach are used to help address combined discriminatory injustices, given the real-world complexities of human interrelationships...David M. Sparks, Kathryn Pole, and Jason Denhartog’s “’I’m Representing All Black People’: A Case Study of the Intersectional Experiences of STEM Students Transferring from an HBCU to a Diverse Urban University” (Ch. 1) depicts a world with macro and micro cultures and stresses as students move between each in critical transitions for their learning, careers, personal identities, and ultimate wellbeing. Dumayi Maria Gutierrez’s “I’m Not Going to Choose a Side Hermana: Adding Voices of Bisexual Latinx Women to an Intersectional Minority Stress Model” (Ch. 2) suggests something of the complexities of being bisexual and racially minority in a conservative culture. This work makes the case for the need for understanding and empathy. Matias S. Ballesteros and Mercedes Krause’s “Adding Interactions in Order to Model Intersectionality: An Empirical Study on Self-Perceived Health Status in Argentina” (Ch. 3) offers a fresh approach to research and analytics based on quant-based intersectionality; this work also suggest potentially different ways of approaching health interventions to improve health outcomes for a thin-sliced population and closer on-ground understandings of peoples and their lived experiences through intersectionality... Humans are complex beings, and triply so with the overlays of socialization and cultural dimensions. Social identities are constantly evolving along with societies, and engaging these with empirical knowledge can be powerful in building more equitable and just and inclusive societies, for the benefit of all."
Shalin Hai-Jew
Instructional Designer
Kansas State University

New Frontiers in Creativity

"Shulamith Kreitler’s New Frontiers in Creativity has collected the work of international experts from “Austria, Belgium, Hungary, Italy, Israel, Portugal, Romania, Russia, and USA,” and they bring fresh methods to the study of creativity, including neurophysiology, statistics, and mathematics (Kreitler, 2020, p. x); they also identify greater ranges of populations who create “ranging from the dyslexic to the elderly” (p. x), and they address a range of domains in which creativity is newly applied. This book is comprised of three parts: Creativity from Specific Perspectives (Part 1), Creativity in Specific Populations (Part 2), and Creativity in Specific Domains (Part 3). New Frontiers in Creativity is an ambitious collection of insightful works that wrangle with complex issues of human creativity in general and in specific domains. While many of the 13 chapters are based on informed deep literature reviews, some works share primary (qualitative) research. These chapters offer fresh insights to creativity theorizing, research, and applied practice.

Dr. Shulamith Kreitler, editor of New Frontiers in Creativity (2020), is Professor Emeritus at the School of Psychological Sciences in Tel-Aviv University in Israel and head of psychooncology research center at the Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer. Her “major interests and publications are in cognition, creativity, personality , and health psychology.” During her career, she has published over 20 scientific books and 200 articles (2020, pp. 419 – 420). This book is part of the Perspectives on Cognitive Psychology series, with Nova Science Publishers."
Shalin Hai-Jew
Kansas State University

Ethics in Higher Education

"Professions have rules and guidelines that define the standards of practice. It is the responsibility of programs in higher education that prepare persons for the professions to imbue the profession’s standards and to assure that those standards have been learned and practiced. While most books on ethics in the Academy are of a general nature, Ethics in Higher Education focuses on professional preparation in the fields of education and Speech-Language Pathology. The book's editors and chapter authors provide literature reviews and practices that offer a general discussion of ethics in teacher preparation programs and for clinical practitioners in the Speech-Language Pathology professions. Taken as a whole, the book’s content gives a good overview of ethics standards detailed by professional associations and accrediting bodies in general and in the areas of teacher education and Speech-Language Pathology preparation. In addition, comprehensive documentation of research related to standards and practices in preparing practitioners in these areas is provided. Suggestions for additional or improved preparation practices supported by research (e.g., best practices) are offered. The topic of ethics and ethical practice is particularly relevant in today’s political context. We are trying to address a history of racism and other ethical issues, including those related to the management of a pandemic. These circumstances make it all the more important for professionals to practice in an ethical manner that recognizes the needs of all individuals. The comprehensive literature reviews in each chapter in the book can inform our understanding of today’s ethical challenges in the preparation of professionals and strategies for addressing them. Three chapters in particular speak more directly to the need to educate the next generation of practitioners in sound ethical practices. These chapters focus on academic honesty (chapter 2), cultural competence in teaching diverse students (chapter 4), and strategies for addressing students’ diverse learning needs (chapter 5). All chapters provide recommendations for strategies to use in teaching ethical practices. There are several audiences for this book. These include Education and Speech-Language Pathology doctoral students preparing to teach in higher education settings, current faculty in higher education, and administrators in higher education who are responsible for overseeing preparation programs. The book makes a compelling case for improving both the programs that prepare professionals and the development of faculty responsible for the preparation."
David S. Hill, Ed.D.
Faculty Emeritus
SUNY College at Plattsburgh

Preeminence of Myth and the Decline of Instrumental Reason

"No reader will be bored by this text. Myth is made worldly and relevant, as the authors address everyday concerns, particularly the fragmentation that is now experienced practically everywhere. The chapters are united by the work of Jean Gebser and particularly the emerging “integral” reality. Most important, like Gebser, the authors go beyond current calls for holism to reveal a more dynamic, inclusionary moment—a place, as some Latin American scholars say, where everyone fits with dignity."
John W. Murphy
Professor of Sociology
University of Miami
Florida
USA

"Pandemic and political chaos are the dramatic image that Culture sees when it looks in the mirror today. Jean Gebser explicates that mirror for us as the enduring contest (agon) between Myth and Reason in the forgetfulness (mermera) of the human mind. The mind’s “inner voice” (mythos) envelopes the embodied “outer voice” (lógos) as the search for the awareness of, for the compassionate fairness of, reasonableness (eulógos). These collected essays are the “must have” insightful guidebook for using Gebser’s mirror of Culture."
Richard L. Lanigan
Director and Laureate Fellow
International Communicology Institute
Washington, D.C.
Fellow, Polish Academy of Science

"This collection of essays, each rigorously attuned to the work of Jean Gebser, attend to a fractured and fragmented world in crisis. Gebser’s philosophical thought offers hope for a future that invites inclusion, empathy, and social justice—where communities enjoin human worth. Gebser reveals regions of human awareness that naturally disclose the co-presence of mythos in all experiences. Each chapter opens the mythic in instructive ways. An integral consciousness counters instrumental reason and opens opportunities for the integral to illuminate and guide human action."
Annette M. Holba
Professor of Rhetoric
Plymouth State University
New Hampshire
USA

Anger: From Primordial Rage to the Politics of Hatred and Resentment

This work explores and analyzes anger. We examine anger as a single emotion and as it occurs in combination with other emotions in complex social relationships that typically involve power dynamics. We utilize Robert Plutchik’s primary-emotions classification to hierarchically categorize anger and other basic and complex emotions, and we compare constructivist and basic-emotion theories of emotion. We conceptualize the primary emotions––including anger––as prototypical adaptive reactions to key existential problems: temporality, social identity, exchange, and hierarchy. Anger is uniquely reactive to positive and negative experiences of social power, elicited by a perceived threat to the self or to the self's project to preserve or attain valued status, resources, or goals. Anger triggers activate a three-stage sociocognitive appraisal process in which the self: (i) perceives its social position or valued resource is at stake; (ii) endeavors to modify another actor's social intentions concerning norms of social sharing and social cohesion; and (iii) develops an intentional act. We identify two complex emotions––hatred and resentment––-as essential political emotions. Both share anger as a key component, and also include contempt. Hatred can be harnessed for pernicious ends, becoming an expression or instrument of power; resentment is more typically an emotion of the powerless, arising as a reaction to unjustified suffering. We examine the place of anger, hatred, resentment, and other emotions of power and powerlessness in contemporary United States politics, particularly to competing political ideologies of globalism–neoliberalism, democratic socialism, and nationalism–populism.

Nation and Mankind

The original and consistent opinion of Mikheil (Mkhako) Tsereteli about the nation as a hyper organism, about the state and homeland on the example of every nation, state and ethnos is not known apart from the narrow circle of specialists. In this perspective, his book Nation and Mankind is a masterpiece which should have been initially attainable both to the international scientific world and the broader audience interested in the creation, viability, functions and changes of the national and social organisms.
The book is a sociological analysis written in the beginning of the XX century about sociological phenomena of different cultures, religions, and languages gaining the national color within each nation. It can be boldly said that the sociological science worldwide is flawed without considering this analysis.
His aim was to protect the nation’s rights. The right of existence and immunity, universal and just equality, the right to establish a state of some form, the right of finding justice before the society of societies and equal and fair obligations before it these are the rights of a nation (Chapter 10, p.188).
At the same time, the book gives the full picture of social creativity of humankind at the beginning of the XX century and the contribution of the Georgian nation as a national-social organism to the fund of mankind. If Nation and Mankind had been translated into different languages at the time of its creation, it would have become a deskbook for academic circles as well as for politicians and literate world.

Inga Ghutidze
PhD in Philology, Professor

Leeway: Reaching Beyond Expectations. Dr. K.J. Lee’s Journey from the Hideouts of Penang to Harvard and Beyond

"KJ Lee had an inauspicious start as a young child growing up in war-torn Malaya. Despite this he rose to the heights of great esteem and acclaim that he earned along the path to manhood and sage-status in the United States of America. One almost immediately senses in the book an elusive and driven quality in him as a very young man who was destined to change the imperfect world that was handed to him. He did this not for him alone, but for all he would meet along the way. His physical and emotional journey takes him beyond the security and comforts of family and familiarity. It takes him across the world while a mere teenager alone on a ship; not to seek his fortune but to create it. Despite now being world renowned as a scholar, a writer, a professor, an innovator and inventor, as well as an acclaimed surgeon, he is a humble, unassuming, kind and gracious man."READ MORE...- Dr. Stephanie Paulmeno, President: Connecticut Nurses Association, President: Communities 4 Action, Chairman of the Board: The Patient is U Foundation, Inc.

For more information about this book, please click here.

Political History and Economic Policy of the Greek Civilizer Alexander the Great

"This book provides a lot of information about salaries, taxation, public spending, and exchange rates, among others, during Alexander the Great’s (356-323 B.C.) campaign in Asia. It is a very interesting read and an excellent source for economists, political scientists, policy makers, and historians. It is also a fascinating read for everyone who is interested in understanding one of the most important periods in human history. Dr. Kallianiotis, who is an expert both in public finance and in Greek history, is doing a great job in providing all the economic data and explaining how Alexander the Great spread, through his campaign, the Hellenic breakthroughs in science, philosophy, literature, medicine, and mathematics, among others, to most of the known world." - Dr. Christos Pargianas, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Scranton, PA, USA

"Dr. Kallianiotis combines in a unique way different historians’ views in order to explain the Hellenic values. This book is an excellent source for economists, political leaders, policy makers, and historians as it addresses various aspects of the Alexander’s political history and economic policy with its surpluses. It also provides information on numismatics (currency, coins, and their values) which is important in facilitating price comparisons and exchange rates with respect to the U.S. dollar and the Greek drachma. Dr. Kallianiotis, who is a professor in finance, has done a superb job in providing us with the foundations and historic lessons from the Hellenic Studies in order to address today’s economic and social issues." - Dr. Iordanis Petsas, Professor of Economics and Department Chair, Department of Economics and Finance, University of Scranton, PA, USA

For more information about this book, please click here.

Second Language Acquisition: Methods, Perspectives and Challenges

“An important and much-needed contribution to the field, this book helps fill a ubiquitous gap: what we know and what we think we know based on empirical research about educating English learners. This book provides insight into research across an impressive array of topics, each one pertinent to today’s schools. It is a must-read for educators working with English learners. “ - Jana Echevarria, Ph.D., Professor Emerita at California State University, Long Beach, USA

“You will be glad you read Second Language Acquisition: Methods, Perspectives, and Challenges the next time you find yourself having to field a question about why it takes recent generations of English learners so long to learn English. As the acquisition of English language has become increasingly conflated with criteria for academic success, current generations of English learners face unique learning demands not encountered by their predecessors. This book’s collection of chapters uses varied research methodologies and sophisticated statistical methods to shine a much-needed light on the complexities of learning a second language for academic purposes.” - María S. Carlo, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Child and Family Studies, College of Behavior and Community Sciences, University of South Florida, USA

“This dynamic collection of chapters and content-related studies provides a nuanced understanding of why English learners struggle to acquire second language proficiency and domain knowledge simultaneously. The insights provided around the multi-dimensional factors (e.g., the language of math, science, and social studies, as well as the complexity of the mathematics, science, and social studies registers) that contribute to English learners’ struggles are long overdue and often overlooked in pre-service teacher education programs. Hence, this text is essential reading for teacher educators who are charged with preparing the next generation of teachers for a diverse population of English learners.” - Sharolyn D. Pollard-Durodola, Professor, English Language Learning Program, Department of Early Childhood, Multilingual, and Special Education, University of Nevada Las Vegas, USA

For more information about this book, please click here.

The Last Farewell Embrace: Spirituality, Near-Death Experiences, and Other Extraordinary Events among Nurses

For nurses, doctors, and other medical practitioners this book is a ‘must-read’. Those who have faced a confrontation with death and the grieving process firsthand will also find this book well worth the time. Finally, anyone with a general interest in transpersonal psychology, transformation, and the life-death process will find it worthwhile acquainting themselves with this research" READ MORE... - Dr. Alexander De Foe, Psychology, School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, Melbourne, Australia

This book is a very welcome addition to the literature and I hope it is read and understood by all healthcare professionals especially those involved in end of life care. READ MORE... - Dr. Penny Sartori, Senior Lecturer in Adult Nursing, Swansea University, Wales, UK

For more information about this book, please click here.